BOSTON (WWLP) – Two Plymouth residents were charged with defrauding MassHealth’s Personal Care Attendant (PCA) program, and one was also charged with sexual assault.

According to Attorney General Maura Healey’s office, 43-year-old Eric Melendez employed several PCAs to provide him with personal care assistance. He allegedly submitted false timesheets for the PCAs indicating hours that could not have been worked because the PCA was working at another job, were more hours than the PCA actually worked, or were hours that were billed after the PCA quit working for Melendez.

Between May 2016 and September 2022 Melendez’s false timesheets allegedly caused MassHealth to pay nearly $200,000 for services that were not actually provided.

Melendez is also charged with various sex-related crimes against PCAs who were working for him. He allegedly offered to compensate PCAs additional money in exchange for sexual favors.

Eric Melendez was indicted on the following charges:

  • Medicaid False Claims
  • Larceny Over $1,200
  • Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person Fourteen or Older (2 counts)
  • Attempted Indecent Assault and Battery on a Person Fourteen or Older (2 counts)
  • Engaging in Sexual Conduct for a Fee (2 counts)
  • Dissemination or Possession of Obscene Matter

Angelica Pierni worked as Melendez’s PCA which included filling out timesheets for other PCAs. The investigation revealed that Pierni and Melendez submitted false timesheets reflecting hours that could not have been worked as Pierni was working for another employer at the time, causing MassHealth to pay out nearly $53,000 in false claims.

Angelica Pierni (32) was indicted on the following charges:

  • Medicaid False Claims
  • Larceny over $1,200

People with chronic or long-term disabilities who live independently may be provided personal care needs through the MassHealth PCA program.